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'Yacht rock,' '70s and '80s soft rock, coming to NYCB Theatre at Westbury

The Little River Band will be part of

The Little River Band will be part of the "Rock the Yacht 2015" tour which comes to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Friday, July 17. Credit: Jason Delkou / Jason Delkou

What was once considered California soft rock from the mid-'70s to the early '80s on the AM dial has now been relabeled yacht rock and deemed cool by a new generation.

This movement has spawned a tour, "Rock the Yacht 2015," featuring the Little River Band, Ambrosia, Player, Stephen Bishop and Robbie Dupree, which comes to the NYCB Theatre at Westbury Friday night.

"The kind of music that we do never really had a name. When the phrase 'yacht rock' was coined, it gave a handle to it," says Dupree, who also serves as the evening's host. "The show gives the audience an opportunity to go down memory lane. We get to play all those hits for the people who grew up with them."

Here are five standout songs from the show, which you will most likely recognize.

SONG "Steal Away" (1980)

ARTIST Robbie Dupree

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CHART POSITION (according to Billboard) 6

Featured on his self-titled debut album, the song was on a five-track demo that helped Dupree get signed to Elektra Records and kick-started his 35-year career.

"The song was just a little rhyme scheme, nothing powerful, but the thing that put it all together was when I came up with the bridge, which strengthened the song," Dupree says. "It's about any man or woman's interest in anyone else. Anyone can adapt it to their own thoughts."


SONG "Baby Come Back" (1977)



You've heard it in a Swiffer commercial and on "The Simpsons" while Homer was on hold for a missing-child hotline: "Baby Come Back" constantly remains in the public conscience. The song not only went to No. 1, it stayed at the top of the charts for three weeks.

"J.C. Crowley [guitar, vocal and keyboard] and I both had breakups, therefore it kind of came easy because we drew from those influences," says singer-guitarist Peter Beckett. "It's a real recognizable intro. People still go crazy for it."


SONG "On and On" (1977)

ARTIST Stephen Bishop


The song appeared on Bishop's debut album, "Careless," which featured guest appearances by Eric Clapton, Art Garfunkel and Chaka Khan. British reggae band Aswad did a remake in England that was a hit in 1989, and Beyoncé even sampled it for her 2013 single "Ring Off."

"The song is about giving people hope to keep trying," Bishop says. "In the old days, girls would ask me to sing it, and I'd always say, 'Well, for a foot massage it's a deal.' "


SONG "Biggest Part of Me" (1980)

ARTIST Ambrosia


Ambrosia had a history of playing progressive music, but this hit was the band's foray into R&B pop five years into its career. It stemmed from the album "One Eighty," making references to the band's new direction.

"I was playing this groove and we just started jamming when the song first formed," says drummer Burleigh Drummond. "[Singer-guitarist] Dave Pack had written a song called 'How Much I Feel,' and the lyrics put a strange light on his wife at the time, so 'Biggest Part of Me' was his makeup song to her."


SONG "Reminiscing" (1978)

ARTIST Little River Band


This song is not only the band's biggest hit, it's also one of the most frequently played songs on the radio with more than 5 million spins.

"The writer, [singer] Graeham Goble, was not a partyer. So after a show he'd go back to the hotel and watch late-night TV reruns, which is when he wrote this song," says bassist-vocalist Wayne Nelson. "The lyrics are about getting older and looking back at the past."



Featuring the Little River Band, Ambrosia, Player, Stephen Bishop and Robbie Dupree

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m., Friday, NYCB Theatre at Westbury

INFO $49.50; 800-745-3000,

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